Date: 22 Jul 93 15:20:07 EDT
A variation on shishkebab, spiedies are native to -- and very popular in -- the upstate areas of New York State, though they may be found in the contiguous portions of neighboring states, including northern Pennsylvania. Natives of upstate NY who have moved away from the area have been known to have commercial "spiedie sauce" shipped, by the case, to their new home! Spiedies are very easy to prepare and to cook. Thanks to all the folks in alt.culture.upstate-ny for their thoughts and contributions! The Meat: --------- Cut your choice of meat into cubes, about 1 1/2" or so. Boneless skinless chicken breast comes out very tender, but most meats (lamb, pork, beef, venison) will make fine spiedies. If you use beef, use a more tender cut so that it doesn't come out too tough. Veal, especially, may come out tough unless left to marinate for several (3 to 4) days. Mixing two or more meats is very tasty. Even some kinds of fish steaks (salmon, shark) have been used, but these need only "marinate" for a half hour or so; or, just brush on the marinade from another batch while grilling. The Sauce: ---------- Most bottled commercial spiedie mixtures, such as Salamida's, are both expensive and use a little too much oil for some tastes. This recipe (actually a vinaigrette) produces a more tangy sauce, and will marinate anywhere from one to three pounds of meat. 8 bay leaves (crumbled up) 4 tsp oregano 8 sm cloves of fresh garlic, minced 1/2 C lemon juice 1/2 C salad oil or fruity olive oil (preferred) 3/4 C vinegar (any variety) 1 tsp pepper 3 tsp salt (or to taste) (If using lamb, try adding a couple of mint leaves) Mix all ingredients together in a non-metallic dish. Add meat, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours; stir occasionally. Olive oil will solidify when refrigerated, so remove the spiedies once or twice per day to allow the oil to 'melt', then stir. Spiedies can be left marinating for 2 to 5 days; some claim that they can be left for a week or more! (Longer marinating may help make beef & veal more tender.) Add more marinade if required. To Cook: -------- Purists insist that spiedies must be skewered, shishkebab style, and grilled on the barbecue for just a few minutes. Brush marinade on them occasionally. Do not overcook! The marinated meat (especially chicken) takes on a color that makes it difficult to tell when it's done. Health considerations suggest that you do *not* use leftover marinade on your spiedies at the serving table, since the raw meat will leave all manner of unhealthy bacteria in it; reserve some of the marinade (or make a fresh batch) to serve at table. Spiedies are best eaten on large sliced hunks of French or Italian bread; the accepted method is to grasp the bread in one hand, place the skewer inside it, and pull the skewer out, leaving the spiedies inside the bread. (Certainly, it saves time!) Kids, however, often prefer to eat them right off the skewer. Leftovers (if any) keep well in the fridge for several days.
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